LONDON (CBS News) — Kensington Palace announced Friday that Prince Charles would be walking Meghan Markle down the aisle at her Saturday nuptials to Prince Harry, CBS News correspondent Roxana Saberi reports.
“Ms. Meghan Markle has asked His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to accompany her down the aisle of the Quire of St George’s Chapel on her Wedding Day. The Prince of Wales is pleased to be able to welcome Ms. Markle to The Royal Family in this way,” the palace said in statement.
In a break with precedent, however, Markle will making some of the journey to the alter on her own, CBS News Royal Contributor Royah Nikkhah revealed on CBS This Morning.
It is “unprecedented, as far as I’m aware, for a royal bride to walk herself halfway up the aisle, but this is the wedding of twists and turns,” Nikkhah said.
In another first, Markle will also reportedly speak at the wedding reception.
Also on Friday, Buckingham Palace confirmed that Prince Philip would be attending the wedding. The Duke of Edinburgh, who is married to Queen Elizabeth II, underwent hip surgery in April.
As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle rode to Windsor Castle for a dress rehearsal on Thursday, the bride was smiling despite a tumultuous week. That morning, she confirmed her father would not walk her down the aisle, saying in a statement that she hoped he would “be given the space he needs to focus on his health.”
Thomas Markle Sr. is reportedly recovering from surgery after a heart attack. Earlier in the week, he was embroiled in a controversy over tabloid photographs, reportedly telling TMZ he staged images to show himself in a positive light.
Royal correspondent Roya Nikkhah said the run-up to royal weddings is usually much smoother.
“We’ve been told from Kensington Palace … she’s been trying to carry on as usual,” Nikkah said of Markle.
Meanwhile, fans were arriving in Windsor on Thursday to claim spots from which to view the festivities.
“I am a crazy American,” said Nancy McCoy, who flew in early from California, sleeping on the sidewalk to save a spot — just like she has for the queen’s past two jubilees.
“You have to come early to get a good place,” she said. “I wanted to be right where the carriage comes down.”